(Last Updated on : 06/01/2015)
Karni Singh who was known as last Maharaja of the Bikaner
State till 1971, was an international clay pigeon and skeet champion and a successful politician of Indian State.
Maharaja Karni Singh was born on 21st April in the year 1924. He was also known as Dr Karni Singh. He was from 1950 the last Maharaja of the of Bikaner State to hold the title of Maharaja of Bikaner, Rajasthan
, officially, till 1971, when the privy purse and all the royal titles were abolished by the Indian Government. He was also a successful politician, serving as a member of the Lok Sabha
for twenty-five years, from 1952 to 1977, and an international clay pigeon and skeet champion.
Early life of Karni Singh
Karni Singh was born as Prince Karni Singh on 21st April in the year 1924 in the Princely State of Bikaner. Karni Singh did his first schooling at Bikaner, after which he attended St Stephen's College, Delhi
, and St Xavier's College, Mumbai
where he graduated in Bachelor of Arts
with Honours in History and Politics.
Career of Karni Singh
Karni Singh saw active service in the Second World War, serving in the Middle East with his grandfather, H.H. General Sir Ganga
Singh, the 23rd Maharaja of Bikaner. Prince Karni succeeded his father, H.H. Lieutenant-General Maharaja Sir Sadul Singh in the year 1950.
Maharaja Karni Singh as a Parliamentarian
In the year 1952, the young Maharaja Karni Singh was elected Member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha (Lower House) of India from Bikaner constituency as an independent candidate, serving on several consultative committees of different ministries and holding his seat until 1977. In the year 1964, Maharaja Karni Singh received the degree of Doctor of Philosophy from Bombay University, for his thesis "The Relationship of the Bikaner Royal Family with Central Authority (1465-1949)". Maharaja Karni Singh was an ardent supporter of the Rajasthani Language
and argued for its inclusion in the 14th schedule of the Indian Constitution
Maharaja Karni Singh as an Indian Athlete
Maharaja Karni Singh attended his last Olympic Games in the year 1980. Maharaja Karni Singh won the National Championship in Clay Pigeon Trap and Skeet seventeen times and represented India at all levels of international competition. He was the first Indian to compete at five Olympic Games, which he did from 1960 to 1980, missing the Games of 1976, representing India at clay pigeon shooting at the Summer Olympics in Rome, 1960, Tokyo, 1964 (Captain), Mexico, 1968, Munich, 1972, and Moscow, 1980. His best positions in competition were eighth in 1960 and tenth in 1968. Maharaja Karni Singh represented India in the World Shooting Championships at Oslo in 1961. In the next year he won a silver medal at the 38th World Shooting Championships in Cairo, after tie for 1st place, captaining the Indian team. He also competed in the World Shooting Championships at Wiesbaden in 1966. Again, he captained the team, and at Bologna in 1967 and San Sebastian in 1969. Maharaja Karni Singh competed in the Asian Shooting Championships at Tokyo in 1967 and at Seoul in 1971, where he won a Gold Medal. Maharaja Karni Singh won a Silver Medal at the Asian Games in Tehran, 1974, and another in the Asian Games at Kuala Lumpur in 1975. In the year 1981, Maharaja Karni Singh won the Welsh Grand Prix for clay pigeon shooting, the North Wales Cup and the North West of England Cup.
Awards Received by Karni Singh
In the year 1961, Karni Singh was given the Arjuna Award
and he became the first person from the shooting arena to be rewarded with that national honour.
Personal Life of Karni Singh
On 25th February 1944, Maharaja Karni Singh married Sushila Kumari of Dungarpur, and they had one son and two daughters. The couple was blessed with a daughter, Princess Rajyashree Kumari who was also a first class shooting sportswoman who received the Arjuna Award in the year 1968.
He died on 4 September in the year 1988.